Whilst the negatives far outweighed the positives, lets start with the positives first to get us on a good footer. The food was lovely but limited in portion size, my group (15 people there for a birthday party) ordered the Sultan's banquet, which consisted of dips, breads, cauliflower, potatoes, then lamb and chicken kebabs on another type of bread, then sweets and coffees to finish. There were supposed to be vegetarian options for those who were vegetarian's, but we can't comment on that because it never arrived. We'll get to that. At $45 per head, we were thinking there would be a lot of food, and to some extent, e.g. breads and dips, there was - although the next day many of my party stated that they had been left hungry, which surprised me. I had left hungry but as the hostess who organized the party I assumed it was because I was flitting around most of the night making sure everyone had drinks and was chatting.
I'd dropped a big birthday cake and about six bottles of expensive wine to the restaurant a few days before because the party was a surprise one, I didn't want my fella getting suspicious if we walked in with an armful of alcohol. I'd requested that buckets of ice were put out on the table so we could start drinking straight away, and when we arrived, I noticed that nothing had been laid out. So I asked. We were all chatting, 20 minutes passed, so I asked again. Another 10 minutes. Someone brought out a cup of ice, put it on the table, and left. Waiters and waitresses scurried around but no one really ever stopped to ask if we needed anything. My guests started mentioning that they were hungry. So I went up to the bar and asked again for ice and our drinks, and said we would start eating now, and we had one vegetarian. My requests were met with annoyance - that was a warning bell to me, however, I was having fun and had worked hard to make the night successful so left it.
The white wine and champagne, beer and ice buckets came out, but no red. As each bottle was about $50-60 a bottle, this concerned me. Finally, the boy at the bar came out and said he'd misplaced my red wine and would give me two on the house. I didn't complain but mentioned that they had been expensive and I would like his two most expensive in return, I remember his face was irritated and he said, "Well these are our most expensive and I'm giving you these!". Again, I smiled, thanked him and left it. If you are reading this pal, you didn't do me a favour - YOU lost MY expensive wines, and the ones you gave me in return weren't as expensive as the ones I had brought. You should have been more apologetic.
Another 15 minutes, and the food started coming out. Dips and bread and cracker things, lovely. My complaint is not with the food. Something that occurred to me was how inattentive the waiters and waitresses were. For instance, they'd put a dish down, walk away, put another dish down further away, see that the first dish hadn't been touched because none of the guests had plates because they'd been cleared away after the last course and just walk away. I was CONSTANTLY walking up the bar and asking for fresh glasses, new plates, jugs of water. Ridiculous, just ridiculous. I shouldn't have had to ask all the time, one waitress was very polite and sweet but should have been asking if we needed anything, especially at $45 per head.
On top of that, we paid a corkage fee per person of about $2.50-3 and not once was a glass of wine poured for us. I took over that role, making sure it was all distributed and everyone was having a good time. When the mains came out (lamb kebab and chicken on bread), people started tucking in. I waited patiently for mine, which I had read was falafels and runner beans. 30 minutes and nothing. So I went up and asked again, this was met with annoyance. I sat down, 20 minutes later, still nothing. I gave up, I cancelled the order. A friend of mine asked for a Heinekin and out came a Corona. One of the waitresses then came out and asked loudly "do you want your cake now?". A surprise for my hubby sitting next to me, ruined. I said, "no there are supposed to be sweets and coffees aren't there?" I was still starving at this point. Out came four small plates of various Lebanese sweets, really nice though, but no coffees, although people were still scurrying about looking busy but not really doing anything.
Then the cake came, and what a surprise that was as well. It was a huge white chocolate mud cake with a personalized message written on in dark chocolate icing-writing. Something must have happened during its stay at Almustafa where all of the letters jumbled and reassembled, to spell something like 'hbairthandyday man x'. They must have realized when they brought it out that this wasn't how it was supposed to look, but plopped it down anyway without a word and walked away again. I suspect it's because they didn't keep it in the fridge like I asked. Another disappointment but we laughed it off.
Then the bill came. $45 per head and a corkage fee per person, an easy $750 for them for not doing much. We ended up tipping about $50, although it was not deserved. I was so looking forward to this evening having heard great things. I am very polite and so were my group, but when I asked for things that should have been assumed or already done I was met with short reply's, rolled eyes and sighs. Not good enough. Maybe it's just the staff in the Cushion Room upstairs, but it was still disappointing. Particularly for me who had paid $100 for my hubby and I, I hadn't eaten much because I was doing the waitresses job for them, and on top of that lost money on the lost wine and the slightly-off cake. I won't be going back and I won't be recommending it to anyone. Such a shame because they had seemed so energetic in my phone conversations with them, but I had probably been speaking to a head host or manager who would have made our night great. I am a full time University student who works on a casual basis in customer services, so I do understand how hard it can be catering to big groups, but there was no catering whatsoever. And having paid over $300 of my hard earned cash on the entirety of this dinner alone, I expected more. I felt it was a waste of money.
You are much better going to somewhere like Taste of Lebanon in Randwick, you will get bang for your buck, the food is delicious and plentiful and the service impeccable.
Almustafa, you are disappointing. There are so many great places on Glebe Point Road that you will need to up your game before you deserve to be there.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.